March 6, 2015
COLUMBIA, S.C. – No. 40 South Carolina (9-7, 1-2 SEC) notched its first conference win of the season Friday evening, topping No. 28 LSU (11-2, 2-1 SEC) 4-1 behind singles wins from two of its three seniors and another strong showing in doubles play.
No. 44 Thomas Mayronne / Harrison O’Keefe made quick work of LSU’s Eric Perez / Tam Trinh, winning 6-2. Andrew Adams / Andrew Schafer followed suit, trading serves before finally breaking Tigers’ duo Justin Butsch / Chris Simpson, taking a 4-2 lead. Adams and Schafer won the final two points of the match to clinch the doubles point for the Gamecocks and are now 6-0 this season when paired together.
“If we win doubles points we can beat anybody,” head coach Josh Goffi said. “We still believe in that 100% so we’ve worked a lot on doubles and it’s great to see it coming to fruition. It puts you at 1-0, which is a massive lead going into singles. It takes a lot of pressure off our guys and puts a lot of pressure on the other team as well. It was a huge point today and it paid off.”
South Carolina’s momentum carried into singles play. Thiago Pinheiro, whose senior season has been riddled with injury, came out of the gates firing. The Sao Paulo, Brazil native was the first off the court, winning 6-3, 6-3 over LSU’s No. 125 Tam Trinh. The straight-set victory was the first for Pinheiro since his January 31 win against Clemson.
“He had a great week of practice,” Goffi said of Pinheiro. “He made the decision that, whether he was beat up or not, he was going to come out and lead the team and that’s what he did today. He flat-out told me yesterday that he was going to lead the team. He went out there and took care of business. It was great to see and it was great for the team to see.”
No. 101 Andrew Schafer improved his overall record to 17-10 with his 6-1, 7-6(5) win over No. 119 Justin Butsch. Schafer worked quickly in the first set but was caught in a battle in the second. After Schafer jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, Butsch got the match back on serve. The two traded blows, holding serve until reaching a tiebreak. Schafer went on to win the tiebreak 7-5, putting the Gamecocks up 3-0 overall. Schafer is now 3-0 this season in SEC play.
With the Gamecocks leading the Tigers 3-1 overall, Kyle Koch, playing out of the No. 2 position, saw his match with No. 98 Chris Simpson pushed to a third set. Koch had come out strong, winning his first set 6-3, but saw a second-set comeback fall short, eventually falling 6-7(5). Tied at a set apiece, Koch downed Simpson 6-1, clinching the match for South Carolina.
Harrison O’Keefe and Thomas Mayronne, playing out of the Nos. 5 and 6 positions, respectively, led their opponents when the match ended. O’Keefe led Boris Arias 7-6 and Mayronne led Andrew Korinek 6-1, 1-0. Senior Andrew Adams, playing out of the No. 1 position, fell 2-6, 6-7 (penalty) to No. 64 Daigle.
South Carolina is back at it this Sunday, hosting No. 10 Texas A&M at 11 a.m. and Coastal Carolina at 4 p.m. Both matches are scheduled to be played at the Carolina Tennis Center and will be the Gamecocks’ first outdoor action in Columbia this season.
#40 South Carolina 4, #28 LSU 1
Doubles (Order of Finish: 2, 3*)
1. (57) Boris Arias/Jordan Daigle (LSU) led Thiago Pinheiro/Kyle Koch (SC) 5-3 (susp.)
2. Thomas Mayronne/Harrison O’Keefe (SC) def. Eric Perez/Tam Trinh (LSU) 6-2
3. Andrew Adams/Andrew Schafer (SC) def. Justin Butsch/Chris Simpson (LSU) 6-3
Singles (Order of Finish: 3, 4, 1, 2*)
1. (64) Jordan Daigle (LSU) def. Andrew Adams (SC) 6-2, 7-6 (match ended due to penalty on court #4)
2. Kyle Koch (SC) def. (98) Chris Simpson (LSU) 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-1
3. Thiago Pinheiro (SC) def. (125) Tam Trinh (LSU) 6-3, 6-3
4. (101) Andrew Schafer (SC) def. (119) Justin Butsch (LSU) 6-1, 7-6(5)
5. Harrison O’Keefe (SC) led Boris Arias (LSU) 7-6(4) (susp.)
6. Thomas Mayronne (SC) led Andrew Korinek (LSU) 6-1, 1-0 (susp.)
— www.GamecocksOnline.com —